Family Of A Charlotte Woman Brutally Murdered Nearly 30 Years Ago Continues Pushing For Answers

CHARLOTTE, NC. —  Viola Pendergrass was adored by many at the Little Rock Apartments in west Charlotte. The retired cook was almost inseparable from her grandson, Christopher.

“She was always a giver, she gave what she had. She shared what she had,” says Christopher Pendergrass.

February 11th, 1992, Christopher was serving in the U.S. Navy in San Diego when his commander gave him the news. His beloved grandmother was dead.

“The sadness that I was overcome with, you know, went from days, to weeks, weeks, into decades. Here we are now.”

Viola spoke on the phone to a family member around 6 am. At 7:30 am, the same family member checked on her at her apartment on Nobles Avenue. The 79-year-old had been stabbed to death with a kitchen knife. No signs of forced entry says Detective Ed Williams.

“They found her sitting in the chair by her bed like she was almost having a conversation with this person and all of a sudden there’s a stab marks all over her torso. It’s awful,” says Detective Williams.

The detective believes Viola knew her killer.

“She got a Social Security check that she got every month, I think about two days prior and that money was missing.”

Williams says the killer left extensive DNA on the victim’s nightgown, on the knife and knife handle. Tests found no matches. The case went cold in the early ’90s and again about eight years ago.

“She was that lady in the neighborhood where everybody congregated, everybody talked, everybody hung out and I know 100% without a doubt in my mind that there are still people walking around, maybe even in that neighborhood or around the corner from the neighborhood that know exactly what happened.”

Christopher vowed to never give up seeking closure for his family.

“She didn’t deserve to die the way that she did and I just never gave up hope that this case will be solved,” says Christopher Pendergrass.

Viola’s murder is one of the oldest cases CMPD detectives are actively trying to solve. If you know anything about this case, call the police.